The San Francisco Bay Area is famous for preserving a lot of its natural spaces despite the seemingly unending onslaught of housing developments.
In the San Francisco East Bay, near the town of Livermore, is the Ohlone Wilderness Trail, which transverses three regional parks. Along the way is Rose Peak, at 3,812 feet the second highest peak in the Bay Area. Ohlone, named for a group of American Indians, is accessible from several points, but my backpacking pal Wild Bill and I entered off Highway 680, south of Livermore and hiked 10 miles to the top of Rose Peak and back. Along the way, we crossed rolling hills dotted with stands of oaks.
Our camp was only about 2.5 miles in and then we day hiked to the peak. Since we arrived late in the evening the day before, having our backpacking site close was a godsend.
In the first two miles is the gushing Alameda Creek with an area of waterfalls and narrow canyons known as the Little Yosemite. A real photography beauty spot.
This is a good place to go now (We were in Ohlone on March 29 last year): the temperature is moderate, the hills are green and the wildflowers are abundant. It’s not unusual to for days to reach the high 60’s and low 70’s.
With winter still covering many of the mountain trails (not for much longer with the dry weather), this is a good early backpack. Time to try out all that new lightweight and ultra light equipment.
Permits required. The link above will provide all the details.